WASHINGTON -- The maneuvering to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House is in overdrive after his surprise announcement that he will resign.
After confirming that he'll step down at the end of October, Boehner issued a warning to lawmakers.
"Leaders have to work with each other, trust each other and find the common ground and get things done," Boehner said. "And so if the Congress stays focused on what's important to the American people, they'll get along just fine."
But hope may spring eternal.
Boehner's departure is likely to bring even more turmoil to a gridlocked Congress.
The next speaker will be tested immediately, presiding over a fractured Republican caucus where conservatives are eyeing budget showdowns with the president later this fall.
The leading candidate for speaker is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He's a prolific fundraiser, which has endeared him with the far right, but he's also risen in the ranks as an ally of Boehner's.
Conservative activists cheered Boehner's resignation as they gathered in Washington to hear from Republican presidential hopefuls including Donald Trump, who has risen in the race by campaigning as an outsider and promising to take on the political establishment.
"It's time for somebody else to go in," according to Trump.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said conservatives are looking for a speaker with that same combative spirit.
"Americans, conservatives who put the Republicans in the majority are tired of the Republican majority running into every skirmish with the president waving a white flag," Perkins said. "They're tired of them surrendering. They want them to fight."
In a New York Times op-ed Saturday, former Majority Leader Eric Cantor -- who often clashed with Boehner -- came to his defense, saying Republican leaders need to "fight smartly."
Cantor wrote, "I have never heard of a football team that won by throwing only Hail Mary passes, yet that is what is being demanded of Republican leaders today."